Review Witchmark by C. L. Polk

C. L. Polk arrives on the scene with Witchmark, a stunning, addictive fantasy that combines intrigue, magic, betrayal, and romance.

One of Publishers Weekly‘s Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2018!

In an original world reminiscent of Edwardian England in the shadow of a World War, cabals of noble families use their unique magical gifts to control the fates of nations, while one young man seeks only to live a life of his own.

Magic marked Miles Singer for suffering the day he was born, doomed either to be enslaved to his family’s interest or to be committed to a witches’ asylum. He went to war to escape his destiny and came home a different man, but he couldn’t leave his past behind. The war between Aeland and Laneer leaves men changed, strangers to their friends and family, but even after faking his own death and reinventing himself as a doctor at a cash-strapped veterans’ hospital, Miles can’t hide what he truly is.

When a fatally poisoned patient exposes Miles’ healing gift and his witchmark, he must put his anonymity and freedom at risk to investigate his patient’s murder. To find the truth he’ll need to rely on the family he despises, and on the kindness of the most gorgeous man he’s ever seen.





Editorial Reviews


“C.L. Polk’s Witchmark is a delightfully compulsive read. With an intriguing alternate world of magic and modernity and the costs of both, and an endearing protagonist in Dr. Miles Singer ― more, please!” ―Carrie Vaughn

“Enthralling, fast-paced, and romantic, Witchmark unveils a fascinating world. Polk writes with assured ease. I can’t wait for her next book!” ―Elizabeth Hoyt

“A crackler, with layers like a nesting doll and just as delightful to discover. Witchmark is a can’t-miss debut that will enchant readers.” ―Booklist Starred Review

“Polk’s stellar debut… blends taut mystery, exciting political intrigue, and inventive fantasy… Polk is a writer to watch.” ―Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“The world of this new series feel rich and familiar, yet wholly unique. The atmosphere is perfect for this tale of dangerous magic, lost souls and lonely hearts.” ―RT Book Reviews

“This book has romance, mystery, witch battles, and bicycle chases.” ―Elizabeth Bear

“Glowing with expertly handled magic, in a deeply-layered alternate world, Polk’s Witchmark is a serious mystery and a steaming romance. I’m enchanted.” ―Fran Wilde

Witchmark is a brilliant read, full of atmosphere and thrills, likable characters, and more than a bit of romance. It is a remarkable debut!” ―Los Angeles Public Library

“If you need a fun queer period adventure romance, you’ll want to add this to your TBR pile.” ―Aliette de Bodard

Witchmark is an exciting, accomplished and wonderfully written debut. C.L. Polk has created a world which, while recognisable, is nonetheless wholly original ― the perfect setting for a fast-paced, complex and wonderfully characterised story.” ―Foz Meadows

About the Author

Top customer reviews


It’s rare that I ever finish a book in a day, or that a story will cause me to drop everything and just do nothing but keep reading, but Witchmark did that for me. I loved this book so much. It is captivating and romantic – it’s like if Downton Abbey had magic and allowed it’s LGBTQ characters to have an actual romance. Once you start reading Witchmark, there’s really no stopping. It’s my new obsession. I need a sequel to this like, yesterday. I need at least four books in this series right fricking now. Love it love it love it love it love it love it. More please. My only regret reading the ARC is that it will make the wait for a sequel so much longer.

I need more. Miles/Tristan forever, damn it!

Robin C.
I read a lot of science fiction and I must say I enjoyed this book immensely! Right from the first page, I was hooked. The characters are carefully drawn and you are immediately immersed in a very real world. I believe this will be considered a classic and a sure Hugo contender!
Crystal Fernandez

Miles is a good man. He’s eminently likeable, an honorable person and it’s easy to see why he’s trusted by his patients at the Veteran’s hospital where he has been working since his return from The War. He hoped to help others while the nation of Aeland rebuilds itself, but is instead thrust into a mystery. Why are the returning soldiers suffering abrupt personality changes and heightened rage? What is behind the message he receives from a dying man? Who is the incredibly handsome man who insists on helping Miles find out the answers to these questions?

Miles could use his powers as a witch to heal his patients, but has to hide who he really is. He faked his death to avoid a system where witches like him are enslaved. He has hard choices to make if he’s going to help others.

I must admit I picked this book for it’s cover, which as you all know is a decision that can turn out oh so bad! In this case I was in for a happy surprise. I mean, look at that cover. It’s all misty & Edwardian & magic & stuff. Right up my alley! I was even more pleased to find that Witchmark is also LGBT inclusive! Miles and his love interest share some excellent chemistry. The book is full of these two handsome, dashing gentlemen flirting endlessly with each other. It takes me back to Downton Abbey. I mean, if Thomas were a nicer guy and had better luck in love he could be Miles. Well, and if he had magic. Ok, so it’s not Downton after all, but you know what I mean.

I enjoyed the book and am looking forward to the next installment. I think this author is one to watch.

Song for this book: Recomposed by Max Richter – Vivaldi – The Four Seasons, 1. Winter

Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley

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